By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE
A three-year project costing more than £20,000 to refurbish Plympton’s practice facilities is now complete thanks to a grant from Viridor Credits.
The three-lane nets at Harewood Park were starting to show their age after two decades of use and desperately needed a facelift.
Phase one of the project was to repair the safety fence around the facility and re-hang the practice nets. That cost around £6,000.
Raising the £17,000 needed to replace the actual net-lane matting took a couple of years and required grant applications to the ECB as well as fund-raising events by club members.
The final piece of funding was an £8,000 grant from waste management firm Viridor’s charitable arm, which was obtained thanks to an application by former Plympton player and now life member Dave Loynes.
Patrick Nicholson, the Plymouth City councillor for the ward the club is in, helped the application along by writing a letter of support to Viridor Credits.
Loynes and Nicholson joined Plympton CC chairman Jon Goulder and a handful of players in the nets for a low-key and socially distanced opening ceremony.
Goulder said without Loynes’ initiative and Viridor's generosity the club would still be waiting for the nets to be fully refurbished.
“I am immensely grateful to the work Dave Loynes has done to secure this funding as the nets are a vital part of our club and our prime training facility,” said Goulder. “They were last refurbished 20 years ago and were rapidly approaching the end of their life.
“Members who have used them so far have instantly noticed the difference and I am convinced this will help us to produce better players.
“Importantly, this also means this facility will be available for at least the next 20 years to train the next generation of players at Plympton.”
Nicholson, who has supported the tennis and cricket clubs in the Plympton St Mary ward before, said he was pleased he had helped the club get the project finished.
Nicholson added: “The club provides cricket for a large number of people in Plympton and the surrounding area.
“It is also an important focal point in the community, providing a facility that more than 200 members actively enjoy as a meeting place whilst pro-actively promoting the sport to as wide and diverse group of people.”
Plympton’s membership includes around 50 adult males and 20 women and girl cricketers as well as around 130 youngsters playing youth cricket from 10-16.
Goulder said the club can always find room for new players of any ability and anyone interested in joining can contact the club via email on email@example.com